FORMER President and Mo Ibrahim Foundation board member, Sir Ketumile Masire has expressed happiness that Botswana was ranked third in the sixth Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) recently.
Speaking in a telephone interview from London where the index was released last week, Masire said that although nothing was constant and Botswana had slipped down in certain categories and moved up in others, he was excited with the general performance of the country for it was part of his legacy as a former president.
“The whole of Botswana is reflection of my legacy and I have left you a vision” proudly declared one of the longest serving president and VP that Botswana has ever had.
Botswana which produced an Ibrahim Laureate in the form of former president Festus Mogae in 2008, came 2nd out of 12 countries in Southern Africa, and 3rd out of 52 overall. Mauritius was ranked first overall while Cape Verde was second followed by Botswana. Meanwhile Zimbabwe sat at number 47, with a 34.4% overall score, indicating an improvement, albeit a small one while Somalia slipped down to the bottom of the league with a pathetic 7.2% overall score.
Commenting on the country’s high and improved score of 89% in the Safety and and Rule of Law category Masire said the impressive mark was simply reflective of the good work done by the government as a collective and not necessarily that the current president had made the country any safer than it was under president Mogae.
Other categories where the country scored impressive marks included overall governance where it got 77%, a score that was even higher than the regional average for Southern Africa which stood at 59%
The country’s lowest score was registered in the the Sustainable Economic Opportunity category which was awarded 68%
“Really as a country we have a reason to celebrate both our social and economic achievements.” said Masire who despite many years of service to the country has no landmark named after him. “ I am not in a hurry to have things named after me because cabinet has taken a decision that living leaders cannot be honoured that way,” Masire said when he was asked if that didn’t make him feel unappreciated by Batswana.
Meanwhile Southern Africa,with its strong performance came up as the top performing African region in the 2012 IIAG
The region scored above the continental average in all four categories ranking 1st in Safety & Rule of Law and Participation & Human Rights, and 2nd in Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development and in 13 out of 14 sub-categories of the IIAG.
Concerning the foundation’s decision not to select a 2012 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership winner, Masire said that what this simply meant was that there wasn’t any African statesman who has left office in the recent past who was illegible. “You might want to recall that since Mogae left office we haven’t had another president leave office in Botswana so by the virtue of that alone we did not qualify.”
He further noted that the foundation’s withholding of a winner in six years was by no means an indication that the annual US$5 million award paid over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life thereafter prize money was less attractive than corruption gains it was meant to discourage among African presidents.